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Language assistants

Working abroad is a project that requires a lot of preparation. It is therefore necessary to be adequately informed before leaving. Should you have questions, do not hesitate to contact our team.

Download the participant's guide (French only)

Eligibility criteria

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The language assistant program offers Quebec students the opportunity to experience a language and professional immersion abroad while being remunerated. Students from all academic fields can participate in this program.

To be eligible and advance to the selection interview stage, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old (as of January 1st preceding the departure)
  • Have obtained a CEGEP diploma before the start of the program (within the year preceding the departure), being in the process of obtaining a university degree, or having obtained their degree within the five years preceding the start of the program (college or university)
  • Be a permanent resident of Quebec
  • Be a Canadian citizen
  • Have an excellent command of French, both orally and in writing; French must be their first language or have a similar level of proficiency in French
  • Have taken at least 2 courses in the host country’s language (certain exceptions may me considered if sufficient proof of command of the language is provided

Application process

To find out about the application process, please visit to our APPLICATION section.

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Duties of a language assistant

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The program offers Quebec university students the opportunity to assist French language teachers at primary, secondary, college or university levels, depending on the host country. Some 50 such positions, which have a 12 to 18-hour work week, are available each year.

Language assistants:

  • Primarily help motivate groups of students, whose first language is that of the host country, to learn French
  • Lead activities that focus mainly on oral communication and that complement the foreign language program
  • Help teachers, but do not replace them
  • Share their national culture and lifestyle with students
  • Prepare classroom activities

Language assistants do not replace the teacher: they support them helping students to learn. They can expect to work in the classroom with the teacher, or by themselves with smaller groups of students. In general, educational and extracurricular activities organized by the language assistant take place under the supervision of the person responsible for the foreign language program in the educational institution. Some teachers may give their language assistant full discretion in the preparation of their activities, but in most cases, they will expect activities to be related to the topics covered in their class.

Language assistants are not expected to perform administrative tasks pertaining to the teacher. They should not be allowed to take sole responsibility for the whole class, have to discipline them, do correction work or student supervision, etc.

Before they start their assistantship, Language assistants can be granted an observation period in their groups that should allow them to:

  • Know the teacher’s instructional practices
  • Watch how students are rewarded or corrected
  • Become more sensitive to each group’s dynamics before undertaking activities with them
  • Take note of expected, tolerated or forbidden behaviour
  • Assess language skills of students
  • Learn the name of students

Role of team Échanges azimut at Éducation internationale

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Being managed jointly between two international partners, the administrative structure of the program is as follows: Éducation international is responsible for the candidate until their departure from Quebec to the host country. Upon arrival the international partner takes over and is responsible for you until your return. This is consistent with the fact that we are farther away and less equipped to assist with certain situations.

However, our door will always be open during that year and we encourage you to keep in touch with us and update us on the progress of your experience.

Level of education with which language assistants will work depending on the destination

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  • Primary level: United Kingdom
  • Secondary level: United Kingdom and Germany
  • College level: United Kingdom and Germany
  • University level: Mexico

Costs involved

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  • Administrative documents: Medical certificate (charges may apply), police Check ($60 to $70), valid Canadian passport that will not expire until at least six months after the end of your contract ($120 to $160)
  • Visa application
    • Germany: Free (or minor administrative fees)
      Visa is obtained in the country
    • Mexico: Free (or minor administrative fees)
      A trip in person to Montreal is required in August
    • United Kingdom: approx. $1,500 (which includes $1,000 that will normally be reimbursed later by your school)
      A trip in person to Ottawa is required in the summer
  • Flight
  • Settlement in the host country and first month’s rent
  • Insurance (health, travel and public liability)


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Éducation internationale will pay each language assistant a grant of $1,500. This allowance is paid at the end of your contract on the condition that you honour all the terms and conditions related to your stay. It will compensate for travel, moving costs, and expenses related to participating in the training session in Quebec City in June.

The monthly allowance varies depending on the destination and is based on the host country’s cost of living. It is paid either by the educational institution or by the partner organization.

The approximate gross monthly allowance is:

  • United Kingdom: Approx. 1,000 GBP
  • Germany: Approx. 1,000 EUR
  • Mexico: Approx. 12,000 MXN


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Although not an obligation, it is usually asked of your host school as well as of your supervising teacher to arrange accommodation for your first few days. They will also help you find suitable housing within your means. Always check the total costs and services covered like meals, heating, phone, etc. Don’t hesitate to ask about guest policy.

You may also be required to pay a deposit for your accommodation.

Don’t forget that you have to pay all expenses, including lodging expenses, with your allowance.


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Check the airline’s luggage policy before booking a flight. Some companies charge more than others so it can sometimes be financially more advantageous to opt for a more expensive flight that includes free additional luggage.

For international flights, the cost for additional luggage can often be quite high, up to $100 per bag.

Consider packing light to save on flights. Keep only to the strict minimum and consider buying voluminous or heavy items (shampoo, soap, hair dryer, etc.) once in the host country.

Make sure you bring some items that could be useful during activities:

  • Posters from Quebec
  • Tourist brochures and pamphlets
  • Postcards
  • Young people’s magazines
  • Menus
  • Photos
  • Canadian Currency
  • Other items that could be interesting for students

Canadian Income tax

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As a Quebec resident and a Canadian citizen, you must fulfill certain tax obligations, even when you are abroad. We therefore suggest that, before your contract ends, you obtain an official document as proof of your earnings.

As a general rule in Canada and Quebec you are required to report any income earned. There are some tax treaties between countries that could be advantageous depending on your situation. For more information, contact the Tax Services Office.

Reporting income earned outside Quebec can be complex, we suggest that you consult with an accountant specialized this field to ensure that your file is complete and according to regulations.

Repayment of your student debt

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The ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (Aide financière aux études) gives special status to all participants of the program, allowing you to defer the payment of their student loan for a 6-month renewable period. The participant needs to reapply with the Aide financière aux études for each period they wish to defer the payment of their student loan.

For more information, visit the AFE website

Quebec health insurance

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To retain your health insurance coverage, you must be present in Quebec 183 days or more per calendar year (January 1 to December 31). Absences of 21 consecutive days or less are not tallied, nor are the days of departure and return. For the majority of language assistants, the total number of days per calendar year spent outside Quebec will be less than 183 days because their contract is over two calendar years.

However, a person that stays outside Quebec for more than 183 days per calendar year can still be admissible for the services as long as they notify the Régie of their departure and that it is only once per 7 years. Please visit the RAMQ website for more information.

If you meet the eligibility criteria allowing you to remain covered outside of the country, the general rule of reimbursement for health services costs outside of Canada is usually thus:

  • The professional services covered are those rendered by doctors, dentists and optometrists, as long as the same services are covered in Quebec.
  • The Régie de l’assurance maladie issues reimbursements for professional services at amounts not exceeding Quebec rates, even if the insured person paid more.

Note: drugs purchased outside Quebec, even if prescribed by a physician are not covered. However, before leaving Quebec, persons who regularly take prescription drugs can ask their pharmacist whether they may obtain the drugs they will need during their absence.

Language assistants abroad are covered by the host country’s public health insurance. However, outside of contract dates or when you are on holiday outside the host country, you are not covered.

Éducation internationale formally recommends purchasing a travel insurance.

Travel insurance and liability insurance

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Travel insurance

Travel insurance offers several coverage options in case of accident or illness during your trip outside the province of residence. It can particularly cover:

  • Expenses related to medical, hospital or paramedical services
  • Lost or damaged luggage
  • Trip cancellation
  • Accidental death or dismemberment.

Travel insurance and the RAMQ are complementary. Travel insurance is only valid if you remain covered by the Quebec health insurance plan during your stay outside of the province. Many companies, travel agencies, and financial institutions offer travel insurance. Ask an insurance broker about the conditions offered: compensation, cancellation, lost luggage, etc. to get a better idea about these various plans.

Liability insurance

When you rent an apartment, by yourself or with others, or live in a boarding room, you need to make sure you have liability insurance in case of an accident in your home, fire, robbery, equipment failure, vandalism, etc. If you are still covered by your parents’ insurance, ask about the conditions they offer.

Culture shock

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When living abroad, some people may experience culture shock when they are immersed in a world with different reference points

Discovering new cultures and getting a better understanding of one’s own culture is part of the language assistant’s experience. During their stay, they discover new beliefs, customs, rules, languages, arts, religions, values, family organization, social and political structure. Generally, discovering a new culture is very rewarding and positive for language assistants although it can be distressing.

During the pre-departure meeting, you will receive advice on how to best deal with culture shock as well as actions you can take to appreciate adaptation in the best possible way.


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Deadline : January 31